Island vibes steal Chelsea’s heart

By Vatapuia Maiava 15 December 2017, 12:00AM

For Chelsea Millar from Palmerston North, New Zealand, one trip to Samoa just wasn’t enough.

After coming over for the first time back in September to visit a volunteer friend in Savaii, Chelsea found that she just had to return for more.

This time around, Chelsea seeks to explore possible opportunities for her social media marketing business based in New Zealand called Grassroots Media.

Asked what were the main drawing factors that brought her back to Samoa, Chelsea explained that it was for her business and also because she fell in love with Samoa, especially the island vibe.

“I am now back for just under a month and working remotely with my business here in Samoa,” she told the Dear Tourist team yesterday.

“Yeah I find that everyone here is very friendly and helpful; there is just a cool vibe. Everyone is very relaxed. I am from New Zealand and this is just a very different place which I am really enjoying before Christmas.”

Asked to elaborate more about the vibe she’s experienced in Samoa, she says everything is simply chill yet efficient, especially compared to the fast moving pace of New Zealand.

“The vibe here is very cruisy compared to what I am used to,” Chelsea said.

“That is a great bonus and a good thing because it allows you to get on with the things you want to get on with and at the same time, it is still very efficient.

“When you want to get around, you will get around efficiently; the buses and the taxis are great.”

On the other hand, according to Chelsea, the tourism sector could use a little more work in advertising what’s great about the island.

She explains that Samoa has so much to offer, yet only part of it is advertised to the world.

“I think some more information online is always good,” she began.

“I work in a digital space and I think that more information on a website in general is really good and linking it to all the TripAdvisor pages would also help.

“And of course on social media, so if someone is busy taking photos of places in Samoa, there will be those who search that and see different parts of Samoa that maybe the tourism sector doesn’t promote. Things like the cultural aspects of the country.”

Asked about the highlights of her trip, Chelsea explains that it is too soon to say but the visit has helped her in regards to her business.

“So I am here for about 20 days and so far I haven’t really gotten a highlight as of yet,” she said.

“But when I came over in September for my friend who is volunteering over in Savaii, I wanted to see if my business could work remotely.

“I also felt very safe in Samoa and I felt it was a cool place for me to come and test where I could take my business in the future. And let’s be honest, the weather is also so much better than back home. So it’s really good to enjoy some sunshine and some heat.”

Furthermore, Chelsea reveals that there is much in Samoa that has stolen her heart.

“I love the people and I really love the food,” she said.

“The food is just really fresh. I also love that there is a great variety of things here without it being too westernized. That’s what I really love when I travel to places, the culture. Savaii has definitely an example of that.

“My only message for Samoa is to keep it up. Keep inviting New Zealanders back because we’ll keep coming back and the more we can help promote your beautiful island, the better,” she added.

By Vatapuia Maiava 15 December 2017, 12:00AM

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